Articles Tagged with accident investigation

Truck-Accident-without-Seat-Belt
Wearing your seat belt is required by law and has been since 1968 when the Motor Vehicle Safety Standard was passed, enforcing all car manufacturers to build seat belts into their vehicles. That being said, driving without one on is reckless and can lead to serious injuries.

At the Cardone Law Firm, it is not our aim to point the finger at anyone’s mistakes. Instead, we aim to share over 40 years of knowledge with you about car or truck accidents. Even if you weren’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, that does not mean that you completely forfeit your right to compensation.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a crash and weren’t wearing your seat belt, read the following to consider what you can do to reap the compensation you deserve.

construction worker
As a construction worker, you understand that there are certain dangers that come with your job. One risk that you probably don’t expect, though, is being involved in an elevator accident because the elevator malfunctions and crashes. However, that is exactly what happened to several workers working on a condominium construction project in the Central Business District of New Orleans this summer. The accident injured five and is a reminder that, as with almost anything else, elevators fail sometimes, and, when they do, people can get hurt. When that happens, it pays to have skilled Louisiana elevator accident counsel on your side.

On a promotional web page, The Standard condominium in the Central Business District is billed as boasting “a visionary’s passion for thoughtful, future-facing design.” The property is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018. In the summer of 2017, though, that design was still under construction. WWL TV reported that, on July 28th, workers next door to the project heard what they described as the sound of an elevator’s emergency braking system giving way, and then they heard the sound of the elevator crashing down seven stories to the ground.

At the time of the accident, 11 people were inside the elevator. That number meant the elevator was well below capacity, Doug Castro, who worked for an OSHA training and safety education entity based in New Orleans, told WWL.

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Excluding those who have a phobia about elevators, the chances are that most of the rest of us engage in the act of entering, riding in, and departing an elevator without giving it a second thought. Some people may be able to go through life without ever encountering a malfunctioning elevator. With multiple instances of elevator-related injuries occurring in the New Orleans area recently, though, it is clear that not everyone will be so fortunate. If you are injured in an elevator accident, it is important to act promptly and seek counsel from an experienced Louisiana premises liability attorney who can help you protect your interests.

One of the recent headline-making accidents was particularly unfortunate because it involved teens doing missionary work. The teens were here on behalf of their Presbyterian church located in Wahoo, Neb. and were at the home of their host family this past July when the home’s elevator crashed from the third floor all the way to the ground. All four teens suffered either leg or ankle fractures, KETV reported.

Also in July, an Orleans Parish man allegedly suffered injuries while riding in an elevator at an office building in New Orleans. The man, according to his lawsuit, was taking the elevator from the fifth floor to the fourth when the elevator malfunctioned, unexpectedly dropping twice and eventually stopping down at the second floor. The man’s negligence lawsuit stated that the pair of drops caused him to suffer physical and emotional injuries, according to a Louisiana Record report.

Tow truckRecently  a tow truck rammed into a mid-city parking lot killing three and injuring one.  The tow truck driver was also transported by EMS to a local hospital for injuries he sustained.

According to preliminary reports, the tow truck driver lost control and struck pedestrians waiting at a bus stop as well as four parked vehicles. While investigators are still trying to ascertain what caused the devastating accident, the ultimate question is: Who will be found liable for the damages?

In Louisiana there are two types of damages: 1) compensatory damages and 2) punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish and deter certain types of conduct which the law finds to be particularly egregious. Punitive damages are explicitly provided for only in certain circumstances such as: intoxicated drivers, sexual crimes against children, and domestic violence. Punitive damages are the additional damages, which are received over and above compensatory damages. So if for example, the tow truck driver was found to be intoxicated and the intoxicated state was found to be the cause of the collision, the individuals who were injured could potentially recover punitive damages.

Causeway bridge
The Causeway Bridge has been described as long, scary and an engineering masterpiece. While the bridge may be all those things and more, the condition of the bridge has been a concern for years.

On August 8th, the bridge was closed in both directions for hours due to an auto accident. According to preliminary reports, Michael Gibson clipped Joey Leblanc’s truck from the rear during the process of a lane change. After riding the rails, Leblanc’s truck eventually plunged into Lake Pontchartrain. This was a very serious auto accident which could have resulted in severe injuries, however, the Leblanc was fortunately rescued by police officers.

Unfortunate auto accidents like the one Leblanc endured may not have a specific price tag, but Louisiana Tort Law exists to bring some sort of fair compensation to victims of auto accidents. Louisiana law, La. Civ. Code art. 2315(A), provides “every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.” This Article is known as the “fountainhead” of tort liability and we can use this Article to assess the situation involving Leblanc and the Causeway Bridge. As a result of the auto accident, Leblanc sustained injuries which preliminary reports characterize as bruising and “minor.” Often injuries sustained in an auto accident are not felt immediately, in this instance, emotional trauma may also be present. This begs the question, how will Leblanc be adequately compensated, and from whom?

Truxillo Cardone Law Firm Auto Accident
We have the pleasure of representing a family who lost their mother in a tragic car accident with a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s deputy. The car accident occurred on April 11, 2016, approximately 4 months ago – and to date, the family has been denied access to the vehicle, denied access to the findings of the investigation and denied access to any other evidence. The Sheriff’s Office has still not returned their mother’s vehicle to the family, nor granted the family access to view the vehicle. This begs the question, is 4 months a reasonable time period to withhold evidence from a family who is seeking answers?

The Sheriff’s Office has declined to allow the family access to the evidence and information they are seeking based on La. R.S. § 44:3. La. R.S. § 44:3 is a special law in Louisiana which allows the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney to deny access to evidence “pertaining to a pending criminal litigation or any criminal litigation which can be reasonably anticipated…” Per our communications with the Sheriff’s Office, it is standard operating procedure for every accident involving a deputy to be presented to the District Attorney’s Office. Once presented to the District Attorney’s Office, the reviewing attorney will determine whether anyone involved in the accident will be prosecuted. Other than this law, their are no other guidelines which govern the timeliness of an accident investigation or the District Attorney’s review period.

Timeliness in an accident investigation is critical. Today vehicles retain and store information in what are popularly known as a”black box” or event data recorder. Manufactures have been putting black boxes and event data recorders in vehicles since the mid 1990s. For an interesting article on black boxes and their history, check out this article by USA Today.